Using the Chart Expert

Reflecting back on the sample reports used in Chapters 2 and 3, you might find that there are opportunities for enhancement through the addition of meaningful charts. As you learned in Chapter 2 with groupings, it is quite easy to summarize the data you collect for a report into meaningful categories or groups. Chapter 2 reviews some examples of grouping based on fields such as country and employee ID. By hiding or suppressing the detail sections of reports, you learned how to bring the meaningful summarizations around these types of groups to the forefront. To further bring this aggregated data to the business user's attention, you can create a chart on this grouped data using the Chart Expert.

To open the Chart Expert, either click on the Chart icon located on the Insert toolbar or select the Insert Chart option under the main Insert menu. Figure 8.1 displays the Chart Expert.

Figure 8.1. The Chart Expert dialog enables the rapid addition of valuable charts to reports.

graphics/08fig01.jpg

After you access the Chart Expert, several steps are required to actually complete the chart. These are reviewed in the next five sections.

Using the Chart Expert Type Tab

The Chart Expert consists of five different tabs. The initial display tab on the Chart Expert is the Type tab, shown in Figure 8.1. On this tab, the type of graphic or chart is selected. In Crystal Reports version 10, there are more than 40 different basic chart types from which to select.

In addition to the classic bar, line, pie, and area charts, new chart types in versions 9 and 10 are listed in Table 8.1.

Table 8.1. New Chart Types in Crystal Reports Versions 9 and 10

New Chart Type

Chart Type Description

Numeric Axis (V.9)

A Numeric Axis chart is a bar, line, or area chart that uses a numeric field or a date/time field as its On Change Of field. With Numeric Axis charts you can create a true numeric X-axis or a true date/time X-axis.

Gauge(s) (V.9)

A Gauge chart presents data using a speedometer visual and is often used to measure percentage completed against target type metrics.

Gantt Chart (V.9)

A Gantt chart is a project-focused horizontal bar chart used to provide a graphical illustration of a project schedule. The horizontal axis shows a time span, whereas the vertical axis lists project tasks or events. Horizontal bars on the chart represent event sequences and time spans for each task on the vertical axis.

Funnel Chart (V.10)

Funnel charts are most often used to represent stages in a sales cycle and visually depict proportionality of the different phases in that sales process. A funnel chart is similar to a stacked bar chart in that it represents 100 percent of the summary values for the groups included in the chart.

These charts have been added to expand the visual capabilities of Crystal Reports and enrich your report presentations. Let's create a Sample Customer Order Listing report and add a chart to it that highlights the Company's Top 10 Customers in the following steps:

  1. Quickly create the basics of this sample report by selecting the Customer Name, Order ID, and Order Amount fields from the Xtreme Sample Database. Then Group by Customer Name and Summarize Order Amount by the Customer Name group.
     
  2. To restrict the data to the Top 10 Customers, access the Group Sort Expert from the Report menu option. Select a Top 10 Sort based on the Sum of Order Amount and do not include Others or Ties.
     
  3. Insert a Chart onto the report using the Chart icon or the Chart option from the Insert menu.
     
  4. Select a bar chart as the main chart type in the list box by clicking on it. Then click the Horizontal radio button that is present at the bottom of the dialog.
     
  5. Select the two-dimensional side-by-side bar chart sub-chart type (top left option) by clicking on the associated graphical icon to the right of the Chart Type list box.
     
  6. The last option to set in the Chart Type tab is whether you want Crystal Reports to automatically use the default legend, data-point, color, and axes options for your chart. The automatic option is enabled by default, but it can be turned off by clicking the check box near the top of the dialog. At this point, deselect the automatic check box.
     

Notice that the Axes and Options tabs appear when this check box is not clicked and disappear when it is selected. These tabs are discussed later in this section. Figure 8.2 displays the result of these six steps. You will continue creating this chart in the next four sections.

Figure 8.2. The Type tab on the Chart Expert dialog for the Sample Top 10 Customers report.

graphics/08fig02.jpg

Table 8.2 highlights some common reports, their contained graphics, and the benefits of using them.

Table 8.2. Common Reports with Corresponding Chart Types

Report

Chart Type

Report and Chart Benefit

Company Sales Report

Pie or Donut Chart

Highlights the regional breakdown of product sales across continents or countries facilitating analysis of revenue contribution.

Product Profitability Report

Horizontal or Vertical Bar Chart

Highlights the profit margin per product that a company sells, facilitating comparative analysis of profitability.

Actual versus Target Report

Gauges

Highlights the progress being made against specified targets through the use of a speedometer visual. When used across projects or divisions, it is relatively easy to compare how they are performing against certain initiatives.

 

Using the Chart Expert Data Tab

After a chart type has been selected in the Type tab, click on the Data tab. The Data tab enables the selection of the specific data on which the chart is based and the chart's location on the report. Figure 8.3 displays one view of the second tab of the Chart Expert. This view might vary depending on the different Chart Type options you have selected. The Data tab is composed of three different sections: Placement, Layout, and Data. These sections and corresponding options are discussed next.

Figure 8.3. The Data tab of the Chart Expert enables specification of chart location, layout, and data options.

graphics/08fig03.jpg

 

Specifying Chart Placement

The Placement section is used to select the location of the chart on the report and, subsequently, the recurrence of the chart throughout the report. Using the drop-down box, select the section of the report where the chart is to be located (for example, Group 1, Group 2, and so on). The options available in this drop-down box are limited to the groups previously created in the report in addition to the option to create the graphic only once for the entire report. Using the radio buttons located beside the drop-down box, the header or footer of the selected report section can be selected. By making these selections, you also specify the chart's recurrence in the report because the chart repeatedly appears in every section you have specified. For example, if a chart were placed on a report for each country group, a separate chart would appear on the report for each country in the report.

To continue with the addition of a bar chart to the sample report, perform the following steps:

  1. Select the Once Per Report option in the Place Chart drop-down box. This should be the only option and is already selected by default.
     
  2. Select the Header button to specify placement in the report header.
     

NOTE

When you select the Group Layout button (the second button from the top in the Layout sectionsee the next section for more details), you are presented with the options in the Chart Placement drop-down box based on what groups and summaries are already created in your report. Alternatively, if you select the Advanced Grouping Layout button, you are not as restricted and can dynamically create summaries across groups not yet in your report.

 

Specifying Chart Layout

The Chart Layout section specifies the data selection options that the selected chart provides to the report designer. The actual data is selected in the Chart Data section. Note that the options presented in that section are dependent on the specific Chart Layout button you have selected. Table 8.3 lists the different layout buttons and their typical uses.

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Table 8.3. Layout Buttons and Typical Uses

Layout Button

Description

Typical Uses

Advanced

This layout button provides complete flexibility in chart creation by providing you with control of all charting options.

Creation of charts based on summaries not already created in the report or charts to be created for every detail record.

Grouping





Special Edition Using Crystal Reports 10
Special Edition Using Crystal Reports 10
ISBN: 0789731134
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 341
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